Friedrich Ebert Banner

Friedrich Ebert


Unique access to the life of Friedrich Ebert

The serious game "Friedrich Ebert - The Road to Democracy" enables the players to slip into the role of Friedrich Ebert and to master all challenges in order to build and maintain a stable democracy in Germany. To do this, they deal with correspondence at his desk with concerns from various interest groups. They have to weigh up where there is an acute need for action, i.e. which problem is the most urgent at any given time. If one interest group is neglected too much, the game is lost. 


Initiate, develop, create and preserve democracy

In terms of content, "Friedrich Ebert - The Road to Democracy" is divided into four chapters covering the years from 1900 to 1925.

Chapter 1, "Democracy in the Making - The Empire 1900 to 1913" , focuses on the social and political problems of the time and the SPD's efforts to reform the party. It introduces the beginning of Ebert's party political career and accompanies him until his election as chairman in 1913.

The second chapter, "Working for Democracy - The First World War 1914 to 1918" , covers the years of the First World War as a profound turning point and focuses on how the SPD dealt with challenges. Ebert is accompanied here up to his short chancellorship, which lasted only one day.

The third chapter , entitled "Creating Democracy", dexamines the revolution from 1918 to 1919, focusing on the course of the November Revolution and the establishment of a basic democratic order. In contrast to the previous chapters, Ebert now had greater room for maneuver. Toward the end of the chapter, he is elected president of the Reich and signs the constitution.

This is where the concluding chapter 4 comes in. It is entitled "Preserving Democracy - The Early Weimar Republic 1920 to 1925". 


The Desk as the Scene of Ebert's Political Action

The game's action takes place on Ebert's desk, which subtly depicts Ebert's political rise. Thus, from chapter to chapter, the size and splendor of the desk changes. And the objects present on it, the windows, and the room in which Ebert finds himself also change along with it. At the same time, through the windows can give clues to the events taking place in the chapter. In all sorts of places in the game hide such details that subtly support and refer to the historical content.

The letters that Ebert receives in the game are all fictitious, but are based on actual historical developments. As the addressee or author, Ebert corresponds in the letters with historical figures that are appropriate in terms of content. These range from his wife Louise and sons Georg and Heinrich to friends from the SPD, such as Gustav Bauer, and fictitious individuals who represent affected population groups and address their concerns to Ebert.

The emotional access via said letters helps the players to understand the respective historical events as challenges from the respective moment. den Spielerinnen und Spielern, die jeweiligen historischen Ereignisse als Herausforderungen aus dem jeweiligen Moment heraus begreifen können. In this way, political decisions should become comprehensible in terms of content but also emotionally. In this context, the feeling of compulsion to act or problem congestion was, as we will see, a core element that we want to generate consciously.


"Friedrich Ebert - The Road to Democracy" as a free browser game for teachers and other interested parties

The game was specially designed and implemented for use in an educational context. It is aimed primarily at classes with young people aged 14 and over. Teachers will find a handout with helpful materials and suggestions for use in the classroom. The Handout is available as a free download. The suggestions are based on different requirement levels, competencies and natural content emphases and in part address more media-specific or content-related questions. A chronicle within the game additionally serves as a concise but sound research tool and potential learning aid. Of course, interested parties outside of the educational context are also invited to try the game.

Since July 6, the game is available to everyone free of charge via the link (Game in German).

In der Friedrich Ebert Gedenkstätte

Das Spiel ist außerdem direkt bei unserem Projektpartner in der Friedrich Ebert Gedenkstätte in Heidelberg zu spielen.

Playing History designed and realized the serious game for and with the Friedrich Ebert Memorial. The game was extensively tested by groups of students and teachers.

As experts for playful formats, we at Playing History can also support you in the implementation of your idea. Just contact us!

Skip to content